Following the release of OIA documentation and questioning in the House, John Key has recanted his earlier statement that he hadn’t met with MediaWork’s Brent Impey to discuss a $43 million Government loan. The PM has now admitted that he did indeed meet with the head of Steven Joyce’s former company MediaWorks, which owns TV3, TV4, Radiolive (Paul Henry’s new home) and many other commercial radio stations.
Despite advice from the Treasury and MED that such a loan would be an unjustified risk, and despite previously refusing a similar request from other broadcasters, Key and Joyce decided to extend a line of $43 million dollars’ credit to Joyce’s former company – not long before Government then announced the axing of TVNZ’s Public Broadcasting channel 7.
Now that might all look remarkably shonkey and corrupt, but then again it could be this Government’s first really sound investment: buying favourable media coverage for the Election.
UPDATE: TVNZ covers the story. Oddly enough TV3 is completely silent on the matter.